Even before the Los Angeles Kings won the Stanley Cup for the second time in three seasons, oddsmakers had already begun looking forward to next year. Sportsbook.com became the first sportsbook to post NHL Stanley Cup Futures for the 2014-15 season and a number of prominent sportsbooks followed suit shortly thereafter.
Throughout the off-season, these futures fluctuated tremendously due to player movement via trades and free agency. Forward Jarome Iginla moved to the Colorado Avalanche, goalie Ryan Miller signed with Vancouver, forward Marian Gaborik re-signed with the Kings, defenseman Matt Niskanen went to the Capitals, forward Thomas Vanek went home to the Minnesota Wild, and C Paul Stastny moved to the St. Louis Blues among others.
Now that we’re approximately one-fourth of the way through the season, oddsmakers have begun to re-evaluate these preseason futures based on their on-ice performance. Although the Chicago Blackhawks remain the team to beat, we’ve seen a few dramatic fluctuations including the New York Islanders on one side of the spectrum and the Colorado Avalanche on the other.
The table below compares examines the future odds at three offshore sportsbooks (5Dimes, Bovada and Sportsbook.com) at different points throughout the year.
Updated 11/21/14 at 2:45 pm ET
|Team||5Dimes (11/21)||5Dimes (7/19)||Sportsbook.com (7/6)||Sportsbook.com (6/21)||Bovada (7/6)||Bovada (6/21)|
|Los Angeles Kings||+950||+900||+900||+1000||+900||+900|
|Tampa Bay Lightning||+1200||+1800||+1600||+2300||+1800||+2500|
|St. Louis Blues||+1250||+1200||+1200||+1200||+1200||+1200|
|San Jose Sharks||+1450||+1500||+1400||+1400||+1400||+1400|
|New York Islanders||+2000||+9000||+5500||+6500||+5000||+6600|
|New York Rangers||+2300||+1600||+1500||+1800||+1600||+1600|
|Detroit Red Wings||+3000||+2350||+1800||+1800||+2200||+2200|
|New Jersey Devils||+6600||+6500||+6500||+6500||+5000||+4000|
|Toronto Maple Leafs||+7000||+5000||+4500||+5500||+3300||+3300|
|Columbus Blue Jackets||+8000||+4250||+3500||+3300||+3300||+4000|
Prior to the start of the season, the biggest odds movers were the Tampa Bay Lightning (+2500 to +1800 at Bovada), Vancouver Canucks (+5500 to +3500) and the Nashville Predators (+10000 to +6500). Interestingly, all three of these teams have continued to build on that early momentum with impressive starts to the 2014-15 season.
Since the start of the year, the Lightning have moved from +1800 to +1200 at 5Dimes while the Canucks have leapt from +4750 to +2100 and the Predators have jumped from +9000 to +3000.
Although those represent three of the most significant price changes among NHL Futures, the biggest movement involves a perennial punching-bag: The New York Islanders. Led by All-Star center John Tavares (18 points in 18 games), New York has started the season 12-6 and are currently in 5th place in the Eastern Conference. This impressive performance has moved the Islanders from +9000 before the season to +2000 now. In terms of implied probability, that correlates to a jump from 1.1% to 4.76%.
So far the most disappoint teams include the New York Rangers (+1600 to +2300), Detroit Red Wings (+2350 to +3000), Columbus Blue Jackets (+4250 to +8000), Dallas Stars (+2800 to +6600) and the Colorado Avalanche (+1800 to +5000).
Are there any Stanley Cup contenders that you think are being undervalued? Feel free to leave your comments in the section below.